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The Way We Were




BIG DISNEY FILM ARRIVED HERE 80 YEARS AGO — Neon area residents were the first in Letcher County to see Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which showed at the Bentley Theatre in Neon during the first week of June in 1938. Special admission prices were 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. The animated musical fantasy, shown in Technicolor, was completed in December 1937 and debuted nationally in February 1938. The movie took three years to make under the work of 570 artists who drew at least two million sketches of the characters. Adjusted for inflation, it remains one of the 10 highest-grossing movies in U.S. history.

BIG DISNEY FILM ARRIVED HERE 80 YEARS AGO — Neon area residents were the first in Letcher County to see Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which showed at the Bentley Theatre in Neon during the first week of June in 1938. Special admission prices were 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. The animated musical fantasy, shown in Technicolor, was completed in December 1937 and debuted nationally in February 1938. The movie took three years to make under the work of 570 artists who drew at least two million sketches of the characters. Adjusted for inflation, it remains one of the 10 highest-grossing movies in U.S. history.

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, June 7, 1928 H.W. Blair of Ice was the first subscriber to The Mountain Eagle upon its founding in August 1907. Mr. Blair remembers paying for his first subscription with one and one-half bushels of corn.

. The Horney Brothers auctioneers will hold three big property sales in Letcher County, beginning Saturday, June 9 with the Pine Mountain property owned by Millstone Land Company. The second sale will be held Monday morning, June 11 and will consist of the Guy Holbrook property located between Haymond and Seco. This sale will include 20 lots, a new store building and a stock of dry goods. The third sales will be held later on the afternoon of June 11 and will include three homes on the N.R. Craft property at Millstone.

. Twenty-nine inch tires by Firestone and Oldfield are on sale for $11.45 and $8.55 each at Fairchild Motor Co. in Whitesburg, Neon Motor Co. in Neon, and Blackey Motor Co. in Blackey. Twentynine inch tires by Courier and Airway are on sale for $5.95 and $4.65 each at the same locations.

. Veteran engineer A.G. Bush had just started his train run from Hodgenville to Elizabethtown when he sneezed while leaning out of the engine cab, hurling his false teeth into a ditch beside the track. After the train ran for half a mile, Bush recovered from the surprise, reversed the engine, and went back to try to find his teeth. After crew and passengers searched but came up with nothing, Bush started moving the train forward but then looked backward to see a member of a local search party waving to him. The teeth had been found.

. A new ordinance approved by the Neon City Council requires businesses and landowners to pay the cost of building sidewalks and curbs on both the East and West sides of Main Street.

. The Mountain Eagle reports this week that “The first settler in Letcher County of which there is record was John Sturgill, who established himself near Eolia about the beginning of the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century.” He explains that Sturgill’s presence in what is now Letcher County was discovered by a party of hunters from Virginia who roaming the mountains here when they heard someone chopping wood far down in the Cumberland River Valley. Members of the party “investigated to find an old man clearing away the forest around a little cabin recently erected. He had come with his family from North Carolina the year previous and laid claim to the land that pleased his fancy. The man was John Sturgill, then very aged. … His descendants are scattered all over eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia.”

Thursday, June 2, 1938 One hundred eighty-nine school teachers will teach in the Letcher County school system’s 86 grade schools. Among those hired are Cora Addington, Leonard Morgan, Gurtha Boatright, Dave Craft, Lake C. Craft, Iva Maggard, Mrs. Owen Wright, Venson Caudill, Jeff Mayes, Raymond Collins, Lonnie H. Breeding, Kendall Boggs, Virginia Vermillion, Edgar Banks, Millard Tolliver, Sandford Adams, Ruth Rice, Cora Reynolds, H.H. Harris, Mrs. Arlie Boggs, and Viola C. Moore.

. Miss Cleo Stamper of Whitesburg graduated with high honors June 1 from Union College in Barbourville, Ky. After doing graduate work at her alma mater this summer, Miss Stamper expects to begin working for her master’s degree at Duke University.

. W.S. Norris has moved from Paris, Ky., to Whitesburg, where he has succeeded D.F. Burke as general manager of Burke and Craft Funeral Home.

. The Pratt Branch Road is fast leading toward Roxana. When finished, the road being built by employees with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) will connect Blackey with Harlan.

. Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” will show this coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Bentley Theatre in Neon. Special admission prices are 35 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. The color movie, completed in December 1937, took three years to make under the work of 570 artists who drew at least two million sketches.

Thursday, June 3, 1948 Prohibition forces, after years of fighting, completed a grand slam in all of eastern Kentucky at the stroke of midnight on May 31. At that hour liquor sales became illegal in neighboring Pike County, the last oasis in the region. Pike becomes the 93rd of the state’s 120 counties to become dry, its liquor stores out of business for the first time since Prohibition was repealed in the early days of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

. Johnny Belcher has been appointed by the Governor Earle Clements as a non-elected peace officer assigned to duty in the communities of Hemphill and Fleming. Belcher says his aim is to seek only real violators of the law. He says he will not seek out those who commit petty violations just to make an arrest.

. “For 50 long and lonely years I have taken a very personal interest in the upkeep and general welfare of Thornton

Cemetery,” John S. Webb says in a frontpage statement seeking help with the cemetery. After “having spent a few pleasant moments on the ground last Sunday, Decoration Day,” Webb is now calling on families with loved ones buried at Thornton “to get up early on Saturday morning, June 12, 1948, get all the good sharp tools together, and everybody meet in the little cemetery and make a general cleanup of all the unsightly plots and corners and make it look beautiful.”

Thursday, June 5, 1958 The Champion Store building at Jenkins has been remodeled to provide expanded space for a new supermarket, which is holding a grand opening today, Friday and Saturday. The Champion Store building in McRoberts will be remodeled later this summer, but for now will carry the same line of merchandise at the same prices.

. United Mine Workers District 30 will hold a fish fry at the Jenkins ballpark Saturday for the dedication of a permanent marker to the founding of the first local union in the Big Sandy coalfield. Among the guests will be Lt. Gov. Harry Lee Waterfi eld.

. The City of Whitesburg formally repealed its annexation ordinance Tuesday night, but city officials said they would enact a new one as soon as details can be worked out. A new ordinance would contain a more detailed description of the areas to be annexed, officials said.

. The Whitesburg City Council has directed Fire Chief Remus Day and Police Chief Burl Combs to inspect all curbs and sidewalks within the city limits, and to mark with red paint those in need of replacing. Property owners, the council decided, will be required to make the necessary repairs themselves or to pay the city’s cost for the repairs.

. A new device may be used in Whitesburg in the near future to slow down speeding automobiles in residential sections where there are children at play. The Whitesburg City Council agreed this week to pass an ordinance authorizing the installation of “speed bumps” to slow down traffic. The bumps, built-up ridges across the roadbed, make it impossible for motorists to travel at high speed without breaking sprints or doing other damage to cars.

. A voluntary automobile safety check is planned in Jenkins June 9-13. Check lanes will be set up on Main Street in Jenkins to give motorists a chance to take advantage of the free and voluntary 10-point safety checks, said Mayor Bill Terrill. The check will be operated by the Letcher County Safety Council.

. John S. Lucas of Cromona says he is forming the Letcher County Good Government League with the “aim to trim everything that is not necessary to the welfare of the people of this county.” Lucas has called a meeting for June 14 to talk about plans to cut down on the number of elected magistrates in the county, currently at eight.

. Baseball and softball teams are having a difficult time getting started in Whitesburg this season because of a lack of interest among players. Two games were forfeited this week when the Lions Club team failed to have enough players show for a match with the Jaycees and Rotary Club couldn’t come up with enough players for a game with the VFW Club.

. The stop sign at the intersection by Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg [now Everidge Funeral Home] is being changed. City officials agreed this week to change the sign so that traffic turning off Main Street will do the stopping instead of traffi

c turning onto Main Street.

. State officials have approved the sale of Taxi Certificate No. 514 to Alvin Adams of Whitesburg from Monroe Hogg of Whitesburg.

Thursday, May 30, 1968 Whitesburg and Letcher County may be the target of a “Poor People’s March” during the next few weeks. Cliston Johnson, of Partridge, announced plans for the march and said, “These poor people will rally for the purpose of recruiting poor people for the national march on Washington. Poor people have nothing to fear. They will be non-violent.”

. Two Whitesburg High School students, Charlie Stidham and Luther Gibson, were killed in an auto accident on Ky. 931. They and three other youths were riding in a convertible that skidded off the right side of the road and down an embankment, and bounced off one tree and severed a fruit tree.

. Seven-year-old Myrtle V. Rogers received a skull fracture when she was struck by a train at Blackey. She was taken to the Whitesburg hospital for treatment.

. The Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold Memorial Day services at cemeteries throughout Letcher County on Sunday, June 2. The VFW asks relatives of those to be honored to be on time at the cemeteries so the schedule can be observed.

Thursday, May 25, 1978 Rep. Carl D. Perkins and Sen. Walter “Dee” Huddleston, both Democrats, won easy victories in Tuesday’s primary election. Locally Perkins and Huddleston outstripped their opponents by large margins in what County Court Clerk Charlie Wright termed “the lightest turnout I’ve seen since I’ve been in office.”

. Delinquent Tax Collector Monroe Hogg has been ordered to stop collecting taxes “until he is duly qualified and in compliance with the law,” according to an order by the fiscal court. Hogg, a former magistrate, was appointed delinquent tax collector by other members of the past fiscal court. According to the state Department of Revenue, Hogg has not obtained certifi- cation from the state and is not bonded.

. Six young Woodrock residents decided to take action on the chug holes which booby trap the road to their homes. The older boys dug up dirt and gravel for fill and the younger ones jumped on it to pack it down. The young road workers are Marvin Adams, 14; Robert Watts, 14; Keith Scott, 9; Jeffrey Messer, 15; Roger Adams, 12; and Howard Messer, 9.

. “A coal truck was demolished when hit by a train at the ramp just above Blackey,” writes Blackey correspondent Gaynell Begley. “The train engine was also damaged extensively. By great good luck the truck driver, Gary Watts of Linefork, was not injured.”

Wednesday, June 1, 1988 A Letcher Circuit Court jury convicted Anthony Smith, 22, and Carolyn Smith, 23, of murder and complicity to murder, robbery and custodial interference in the deaths of her parents and brother, but could not agree on a punishment for the couple in the penalty phase of the threeweek trial. Judge F. Byrd Hogg declared a mistrial so another jury will have to be empanelled to hear the penalty phase of the trial and recommend a sentence for the couple.

. “Our ancestors sought out things (to sell) that dugout canoes could carry in sufficient quantities to justify the long journey to Frankfort or Maysville, and the weeklong walk back home,” writes

Letcher County attorney and author Harry M. Caudill. “The first source of income was skins. The tanned hides of raccoons, bears, deer, muskrats and buffalo brought good prices in Europe and were valuable in the downriver markets. For all practical purposes pelts were so valued and coins so scarce that skins became a form of money.”

. Police discovered a hand grenade in the restroom of the Isom Kwik Mart, but it has not been determined if the bomb is live. An anonymous telephone call to the sheriff ’s department had apparently led officers to the grenade.

. Eddie Carrier and Paul Harris each captured victories in Mountain Motor Speedway’s twin 25’s. Carrier, of Leburn, continued his string of victories by leading flag-to-flag to win the first of the twin 25’s. In the back of the field in the second of the 25’s, Harris began passing slow cars. But onlap5anine-carpile-updamagedevery car except that of Harris. Harris was left unchallenged as he drove to his second victory of the season.

Wednesday, May 27, 1998 Sheriff Steve Banks says the decision by some parents Friday to take their children away from the Martha Jane Potter and Fleming-Neon schools was fueled by a rumor that a boy had threatened to bring a gun to one of the schools and shoot his teachers or classmates. “It was totally a rumor,” Banks said.

. Rep. Paul Mason picked up the endorsement of ex-governors Brereton Jones and Wallace G. Wilkinson in the race for the 91st District legislative seat. Both wrote letters endorsing Mason for re-election.

. The Letcher County Industrial Development Authority has approved the use of coal severance tax funds for restoration of the old Jenkins High School and for a baseball/softball field. Members of the authority delayed action on a request to use the funds for a welcome center on new Hwy. 23 at Jenkins, saying they need more information on the proposed project.

. Donnie Fields of Whitesburg will succeed Jerry Haynes as the new administrator of Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. Fields is currently the assistant administrator of the ARH Regional Medical Center in Hazard.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 The Letcher Fiscal Court voted 5-0 to submit a sealed bid for the purchase of the old A&P Food Store building to turn it into a recreation center. The building is now owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and was donated to the college several years ago by the family of the late Joe and Irene Reynolds.

. Antonio Granados, better known as the strawberry man, drives two hours a day from Rogersville, Tenn., to sell fresh strawberries out of his van which he parks at Ermine. The Sweet Charlie and Chandler strawberries are grown on the Davidson Farm in Rogersville. On Memorial Day, Granados sold 20 gallons of strawberries during the first two hours he was at Ermine.

. The United Mine Workers of America has endorsed Barack Obama for president despite his recent defeat in primaries in coal-producing state. “Senator Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families,” said union president Cecil E. Roberts.

. Jenkins pitcher Rachel Thacker threw perfect game in the Lady Cavs’ 19-0 win over Leslie County. Thacker struck out six of the nine batters she faced in the threeinning game.


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